Inspired by Anton Chekhov’s The Lady with the Dog, Grigorcea’s novella transposes Chekhov’s famous story to Zurich, giving it fresh meaning and life.
At a café beside Lake Zurich, ballet dancer Anna meets Gürkan, a Kurdish gardener with a young family. Anna is also married but over the months that follow, the pair fall in love. Against the backdrop of Zurich’s changing seasons, the book charts how this chance meeting transforms Anna, making her reassess her life and art. Like Chekhov, Grigorcea focuses on the dissatisfaction of the two main characters with their lives and how their love for each other helps them find the meaning they crave. Living together is not a realistic option and the novella ends unresolved, leaving the couple to find their own way.
Grigorcea’s writing is both concise and atmospheric. She is able to capture the emotional lives of her main characters as well as the essence of Zurich, giving a sense of what it is like to live and love in the city. The novella reads as a wake-up call, encouraging readers to follow their hearts and engage fully with life.